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Recent Supplier Visit

Posted Saturday, March 17, 2012
As part of a recent supplier visit with a team from my company we visited a struggling supplier. The supplier prepared the customary items normally encountered for such a visit. The conference room was well stocked with delicious pastries, plenty of coffee was available, and the overhead projector was all set for the 30 minute introductory presentation.

After the customary greetings and exchange of business cards the presentation began. Although our visit was arranged due to this supplier's lack of satisfactory delivery and sporadic quality problems, every indication from the presentation was that this was a world-class operation. The presentation was professionally produced and the "cast of characters" were neat, smiling, and looked to be very productive. Impressive, to say the least. What followed was also impressive. We spent the next 30 minutes listing to a verbal oration of how this company was expanding; adding people and planning for future orders.

After this hour of 'build up' we next went on a shop tour. Immediately upon entering the shop it was obvious that something was wrong. Basically, nothing on our tour was consistent with the "management view" and presentation of this business. The most disheartening part was the management group we were with did not recognize the difference. They need a VIP2 overhaul!

Fresh Market vs. Whole Foods

Posted Friday, October 07, 2011

I am a Fresh Market (FM) and Whole Foods (WF) lover...however, as I started frequenting both of them I realized there was a big difference in the customer service. Let's start with the Meat/Fish Counters: WF will not only wait on you with a smile, but 
will also give you insight on daily specials, fresh shipments that just came in, and recipe advice. At FM, you're lucky to get eye contact let alone any "further information" on any of their products. Next, the deli: WF, busy prep cooks/prepared food chefs 
are there to wait on you promptly and will offer sampling. FM deli employees usually seem preoccupied with getting their prepared foods done and checked off the list and a person usually has to be called over. Let's talk Produce: Both have quality products 
but there always seems to be a produce guy hanging around at WF waiting to cut open a piece of fruit for you to try before you buy. At FM, they're a little more scarce and don't always seem knowledgable. As for checkout: WF is always friendly. FM is sometimes 
friendly, sometimes not...depends on the day. It also came to my attention one day that they have management issues regarding standards for employees showing up on time, skipping work, etc....but I think they're working that out. I will still go to FM bec. 
they do a good job of providing high quality ingredients, but I'd much rather shop at WF and would definitely rather work there. FM NEEDS VIP2!

Deli Manager - too busy to help!

Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2011
My family was eating at McAlister's Deli in Fishers, Indiana during a very busy lunch hour. Two elderly women carrying trays of food approached one of the very few open tables to sit down but noticed that the table had not yet been cleared. As they continued to stand and hold their trays of food, one of the ladies asked a manager standing 10 feet away if someone could clear the table. His response was that "someone will be there in a minute". He was literally just standing there and apparently too busy "managing" to help. A few moments later one of the wait staff came over and cleared the table. Two bad messages sent here: 1) Clearing tables is beneath a manager's role and meant for someone else "below" my level and 2) It's okay to make customers wait rather than getting my hands dirty. As a manager, you should never ask someone to do something that you are not willing to do yourself. The manager may be informed but certainly not passionate about his job or company.

VIP2 emergency at Sporting Good store!

Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2011
I took my daughter to Academy Sports the other day for some soccer shoes. Not one sales person greeted us or offered to help. When we couldn't find the shoes we wanted, we had to walk up and down several aisles to find someone to ask. When we asked if they had the shoes we wanted he said, "Did you look back on the wall?" (which of course we had!). When we said "yes", he said, "well, if they weren't there then we probably don't have them". That was it... It was a clear sign of employees that weren't Values-driven, Informed or Passionate about what they were doing. It was very clear to us that nobody in the store cared whether we bought the shoes there or not. We won't be back... Academy need VIP2!!!!!!

Sub Shop Nightmare

Posted Tuesday, August 02, 2011
I recently went to a local sub shop to buy a sandwich and could not believe the service.

One of the sub shop guys who was working stopped everything he was doing and started talking to a random lady that came in off the street. The guy then proceeded to not listen to a word I said and my sandwich ended up being a turkey tuna mess...

They could have really used the VIP2 treatment!!!


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